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Saturday 2 August 2014

Probe into torpedo firing accident

Published 14/03/2014|19:12

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A torpedo was 'jettisoned unexpectedly' from HMS Argyll while on a training exercise at Devonport dockyard in Plymouth

An investigation is under way after a Royal Navy warship accidentally fired a torpedo into a dockyard wharf.

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HMS Argyll was on a training exercise at Devonport dockyard in Plymouth when the torpedo was "jettisoned unexpectedly".

The Royal Navy said the Test Variant Torpedo was a dummy weapon, which did not contain any explosives.

No-one was injured in the incident on Wednesday afternoon but training has been suspended while an investigation is carried out.

The navy said no one was on the jetty at the time of the incident and the torpedo caused minor damage to a security fence when it landed inside the base.

"We can confirm an incident occurred on-board HMS Argyll on March 12 at 3.24pm, while the ship was alongside at Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth," a navy spokesman said.

"During a training exercise, an inert Test Variant Torpedo unexpectedly jettisoned onto the wharf.

"There was no explosion and no casualties. An investigation is now under way to determine the cause of the incident.

"HMS Argyll was conducting a system test when an inert Test Variant Torpedo was jettisoned unexpectedly. The torpedo is not an explosive hazard.

"The specific details of the incident are subject to further investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

"The result of the investigation will determine what actions will be necessary to avoid any repeat of this incident in the future.

"However, torpedo system test firing alongside in the naval base has been suspended subject to completion of the investigation."

Plymouth-based HMS Argyll, which was built in the late 1980s, is the longest-serving Type 23 frigate in the Royal Navy.

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